• Group disowns official demanding Senate President resign
• He must be arrested, tried for treason – PDP
Ndubuisi Orji, Fred Itua, Abuja and Job Osazuwa
Ripples caused by the call on Dr. Bukola Saraki to throw in the towel as president of the Senate or be forced out is not in a hurry to settle, as the national leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), yesterday, disowned its Benue State coordinator, Garus Gololo.
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This is even as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demanded his immediate arrest and prosecution for treason.
The MACBAN leader had on Tuesday, in Makurdi, reportedly threatend that Saraki would be forced out of office as President of the Senate if he refused to leave voluntarily, for treason.
Gololo claimed the senate president had created numerous problems for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and therefore should go.
But Baba Uthman Ngelzarma, the group’s National Secretary, said in a statement, yesterday, that Gololo spoke in his personal capacity and had no mandate to speak on behalf of the association.
“Miyetti Allah is a non-partisan association with no interest in the political terrain and we couldn’t meddle into the affairs of political actors thereby compounding our already obvious challenges. I therefore urge all and sundry to disregard his statement.
“It is not from MACBAN and should be disregarded in its entirety. We take exception on this statement and Garus Gololo is entirety on his own and will be sanctioned accordingly.
“We cannot afford to add up to the many challenges we are confronted with. I’m therefore appealing to the general public to disregard this statement as it is coming from someone who doesn’t have the mandate of the association to speak on its behalf.”
Reacting, PDP gave President Muhammadu Buhari 24 hours to arrest and prosecute the Miyetti Allah helmsman over threat to force out Saraki from office if he failed to resign.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, said if President Buhari failed to take a decisive action over the “treasonable and inciting utterances,” Nigerians would, henceforth, hold him directly responsible for the utterances and actions of the group.
The opposition party stated that the utterances of the Miyetti Allah echoes threats by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and agents of the Presidency to force Saraki out of office as Senate President, describing it as “ominous and revealing.”
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“If anything, this unguarded statement by Miyetti Allah has exposed the synergy between the ruling party and some troublesome elements, who are being used to stoke division and create violent crisis that had resulted into daily bloodlettings in various parts of the country.
“It is now abundantly clear to Nigerians that those fomenting crisis, including the bloody clashes in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Edo, Borno, Yobe, Enugu, Kogi, Adamawa and other states, have political backers, who now want to channel them to achieve their unpatriotic quest to subvert our constitution and forcefully take over the National Assembly.
“Before now, majority of Nigerians suspects the Miyetti Allah has always represented the military wing of the APC and the Buhari Presidency. It is incontrovertible that they have now become the fourth arm of government that can determine when and how to forcefully remove the number three citizen, the President of the Senate.
“It is common knowledge that Mr. President has come under heavy public criticisms on how his body language has condoned the unguarded utterances and actions of these characters.”
The PDP further stated that it was aware that Miyetti Allah did not represent the views and interests of the vast majority of cattle breeders or even any ethnic group in the country.
Consequently, it called on good spirited Nigerians “to rise in condemnation of the actions and utterances of misguided elements, who are being used to attempt a constitutional breach that portends grave danger to national cohesion and our hard earned democracy.”
Also reacting, a pro-democracy group, Movement for Democratic Goals (MDG) described the alleged threat by Gololo as “reckless, irresponsible, highly unfortunate and capable of throwing the nation into turmoil.”
It called on Buhari to call members of MACBAN to order, noting that it would hold the president responsible for any outbreak of violence in the nation if he refused to speak against the threat.
The statement issued in Abuja by the National Coordinator of the group, Aliyu Abdulkareem, read in part: “Ordinarily, such threat could have been ignored as a noise of an attention seeking rabble rouser, but the several bestial activities credited to members of the association in the recent past is a reason not to take the threat with levity.
“It is on record that members of the association don’t just issue threat, they go all out to violently fulfil their threats, and it is evident in their recent activities.
“We also strongly believe that he who plays the piper calls the tune, the association only echoed the mindset and plans of their paymasters and those giving them state support.
“As the patron of the association, President Buhari must call them to order to forestall outbreak of violence and anarchy in any part of the country. Their threat should not be taken with levity.
“If any crisis breaks out in any part of the country as a result of the threat, we will not hesitate to hold the president and members of the association responsible.
“We will take it further by writing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to call their attention to the reckless and bestial activities of MACBAN with maximum support from the state.”
Another group, the Advocates for Peoples Right and Justice (APRJ) also flayed Gololo.
In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Mr. Victor Giwa, APRJ said Gololo’s statement was treasonable and must not be ignored.
It argued that the position of the senate president is constitution and that the occupant must not belong to the ruling party.
Giwa said: “While it is not in our history to respond to narrow, unguarded and ludicrous statements, we are, however, constrained to respond to this statement credited to Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders Association because of their past record of poking political tension in our national politics.”